Punch Drunk Wonderland

2014 Fantasy Football in Review: Wide Receiver Consistency

With the 2014 NFL and fantasy football season in the books now is the best time to look back and get solid perspective. We’ve already taken a look at running back consistency, and now it’s time to look at 2014 wide receivers. Our friends at numberFire.com have taken a look last seasons receivers with a focus on consistency.

This is the third installment of a series that focuses on the consistency at each position in fantasy football from this past year. You’d be best suited to start at the beginning, with quarterbacks, which also serves as an introductory piece, or at least with running backs, as it’s hard not to put the information about receivers in context with running backs.

But if you don’t want to do either, that’s fine.

Drafting wide receivers earlier and earlier in fantasy football is becoming popular, and when these guys put up 30-point games, everything is justified. But you have to consider the floors that these players possess, too, when looking at the bigger scheme of fantasy football.

Plus, if receiver numbers are up across the board, then it stands to reason that elite players lose their edge compared to fringe starters and replacement-level backs — right? Well, that’s what we’re going to get into.

Defining the Process

I won’t use up too much space here on my process, as I’ve done that twice already in prior installments. But the gist of it is that I collected weekly gamelogs of the top-48 scorers in standard, point-per-reception (PPR), and half-PPR and found the standard deviation of each player. With that, I was able to figure out the “realistic” floor and ceiling for each player, as adding and subtracting a standard deviation from the player’s average indicates where 68% of his games would fall (or, since I excluded Week 17, 11 of his 16 games).

I can then also divide the player’s average by that standard deviation and get a nifty number called the coefficient of variance, which acts as, basically, a volatility rating. Volatility isn’t bad, per se, as it can really just indicate that a player has a big ceiling, but when viewed through a season-long lens, it also means games with low floors (think guys with the boom-or-bust monicker).

Are Receivers All or Nothing?

In the previous installment, we found out that 16 backs had a 68% ceiling of getting 20.0 fantasy points in half-PPR settings — but excluding extremely volatile guys left us with only 12. What about wideouts?

Half-PPR 68% CI Low 68% CI High Half-PPR 68% CI Low 68% CI High
Odell Beckham 9.94 29.88 Emmanuel Sanders 8.45 23.68
Demaryius Thomas 7.85 28.14 Mike Evans 3.60 22.70
Jordy Nelson 8.81 26.83 DeAndre Hopkins 3.83 21.71
Antonio Brown 12.65 26.56 Randall Cobb 9.08 21.22
Julio Jones 7.43 26.52 Alshon Jeffery 8.15 20.47
Calvin Johnson 3.72 25.16 Julian Edelman 5.90 20.18
Jeremy Maclin 5.59 24.79 Golden Tate 6.98 20.17
Dez Bryant 8.50 24.58 Brandon LaFell 5.29 19.83
T.Y. Hilton 6.83 24.24 DeSean Jackson 4.08 19.64
A.J. Green 5.15 24.05 Brandon Marshall 3.49 19.37

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)



K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...